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Tips to Combat Holiday "Eating Stress"

Dec 14, 2009

With the holiday season upon us, stress seems to build gradually culminating into some unwanted extra pounds. Whether it's finding time to write holidays cards, shopping for presents in crowded stores, or navigating all of the parties and get-togethers throughout the month of December, many people find themselves snacking day and night and fat-laden food and drinks seem to be everywhere. The editors of Fitness offer tips to combat holiday "stress eating" and keep unwanted pounds from creeping on.

The Fitness Holiday "Stress Eating" Tips Are:

Keep an Honest Food Journal: (FT clients know it is required -- no slacking for the holidays) Write down everything you eat, when you eat it and why. There may be a pattern to your snacking, for example: reaching for crunchy foods when you feel anxious. The more mindful you are of every calorie you take in, the better your chances for keeping overeating at bay.  Do enjoy yourself but key is portion size and moderation.

Avoid Alcohol: Alcoholic drinks can be anywhere from 100-300 calories per serving. Plus, drinking can lower your inhibitions causing you to forget how much you are eating. Try wine spritzers or fruit-flavored seltzer water instead.

Eat Before You Go Out, Re write your goals and visualize your Goal: Reminding yourself of your goals will help you stay focused and feel better about yourself and your choices. Showing up at parties on an empty stomach can make any and all food seem appetizing and therefore, cause you to overeat. Also, alcohol is absorbed more quickly on an empty stomach that can exacerbate the "munchie" effect. The best way to combat this is to have a light snack before you leave, consisting of protein, carbohydrates, and fats such as an apple and some low-fat cheese or whole-wheat crackers with peanut butter.

Keep your appointments for TRAINING and Exercise: Just like an important meeting your exercise time is keeping you healthy and focused even amongst the holiday frenzy.  It helps you enjoy yourself more and get more done knowing that you have taken care of yourself.  It relieves stress and energizes you to make better choices through the holidays.

Be a Social Butterfly: While it may be tempting to flirt and hang around the buffet table, it also plays havoc with your ability to watch portions. Instead, fill a plate with a small sampling of your favorite foods and walk around the party.

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